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Diagnosing Organizations

Diagnosing Organizations
Methods, Models, and Processes

Third Edition

September 2004 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Click 'Additional Materials' for downloadable sample chapter

Many managers and organizational leaders face shrinking budgets, growing competition, and changing organizational alliances and missions   A bewildering array of new technologies and management techniques offer help in handling these challenges. To respond effectively and avoid wasting resources, decision makers need to diagnose organizational conditions, plan changes carefully, and apply appropriate technologies and management techniques.

The Third Edition of the bestselling Diagnosing Organizations shows how consultants and applied researchers can help decision makers quickly and flexibly diagnose problems and challenges and decide how to deal with them.

Key Features

  • Models for framing diagnostic problems, identifying underlying conditions, and providing feedback
  • Methods for gathering and analyzing diagnostic data
  • Processes for working on a diagnosis with clients and other members of an organization

This thoroughly revised edition can help practitioners of diagnosis directly address concerns that are critical to clients, rather than just provide feedback on current conditions and operations. In an authoritative, yet readable fashion author Michael I. Harrison presents updated treatments of the uses of diagnosis, evaluating organizational effectiveness, improving team performance, planning organization redesign projects, and assessing organization-environment relations and competitive strategy. Also treated are the politics of change management, professional dilemmas, and ethical issues confronting practitioners.

Professors of research methods across the social sciences will find Diagnosing Organizations, Third Edition an invaluable text for their courses. The second edition was widely adopted in departments of Management, Public Health, Nursing, Education, Public Administration, Psychology, Criminal Justice, and many others.

1. Diagnosis: Approaches and Methods
Uses of Diagnosis

Three Keys to Successful Diagnosis

Diagnosis in Turbulent Times

Conclusion and Plan of the Book


2. Open Systems Models
Using the Open Systems Approach

Gathering and Analyzing Data

Assessing Effectiveness

Assessing Feasibility of Change and Choosing Appropriate Interventions


3. Assessing Individual and Group Behavior
Model for Diagnosing Individual and Group Behavior

Action Model for Group Task Performance

Diagnostic Methods and Procedures


4. System Fits and Organizational Politics
Diagnosing System Fits

Emergent Behavior and Culture Versus Official Mandates

Assessing the Impacts of Fits and Gaps

Power and Politics


5. Environmental Relations
Guidelines for Diagnosis

Diagnostic Methods


6. Challenges and Dilemmas of Diagnosis
The Goals Dilemma

The Politics Dilemma

The Professionalism Dilemma


Appendix A: General Orientation Interview
Appendix B: Instruments for Diagnosis and Assessment
Appendix C: A Guide to Diagnosing Behavior During Meetings
Appendix D: Resources for Developing Expertise in Diagnosis
About the Author

It's a great textbook for the course
'Organization Diagnosis'. It provides the necessary information, tactics, and tools to best complete an organizational diagnosis accurately.

Dr NienChi Liu
Institute of Human Resource Management, National Central University
November 11, 2013

Concise text which nicely combines theory and practice and provides guidance to applying 'diagnostic' processes in practice.

Mr Robin Miller
Health Services Management Centre, Birmingham University
September 11, 2013

Clear, understandable writing that all levels of students could understand and use

Ms Jennie Gross
Education/Jennie Gross, Denver Career College
February 28, 2012

I recommend Harrion's book on diagnosing organizations to all my master thesis students. It helps them to think more accurately on research within organizations.

Mr Ferry Koster
Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam
January 22, 2012

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